Today is the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. April 4th 1968. He was two years younger than me being born in 1953. He truly was a great man striving to bring equal rights to all people including the African Americans living then and today. If you have never heard the “I have a dream…” speech by Dr. King, please do so. It will shake you and bring you to tears but also let you know about Martin Luther King Jr.
Being of Caucasian race, I never experienced prejudice for my skin color that I was born with. I didn’t choose to be white. And African Americans did not choose their dark skin. Yet for centuries ,even today, people have discriminated against people of brown and black color. Why? Not an easy question to answer. The black and brown skinned people were brought to America as slaves. They did not wake up and say, “Let’s go to America today.” They were sold into slavery for profit so that white people could have cheap/free labor for their agriculture, their farms. Other ethnicities migrated to America for freedom and opportunity. All have been mistreated by those who feel they are superior to these people.
And even after President Abraham Lincoln freed the slave and ended the Civil War, prejudice continues. We are a country of people who are all races, all colors and should have equal rights. Yet we do not. We, as whites were raised to think the black and brown races are inferior to us and even dangerous to us. I grew up during the 50’s and 60’s when Martin Luther King Jr. was actively fighting for the black race to be treated as an equal race to whites. But even today, in 2018 there is a difference made my some people.
Just ask yourself, “Do I have the right to treat others of different skin color, ethnicity, gender as though they do not have the same rights as me?” “What am I doing right now, today, to ensure that all people have equal rights?” If you can honestly answer those two questions, then I give you credit for helping Martin Luther King Jr. spread his legacy of equal rights for all mankind and I applaud you.
I leave you with five quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and a poem by Susans Soul. Susan…
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
“Being a Negro in America means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means trying to hold on to physical life amid psychological death. It means the pain of watching your children grow up with clouds of inferiority in their mental skies. It means having their legs off, and then being condemned for being a cripple.”
“It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”
“There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of softmindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”